A former Burlington County teacher was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison yesterday for possessing and sharing images of child pornography on the Internet, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Joseph E. Macanga, 55, taught sixth-grade social studies and language arts at Lumberton Middle School when he was arrested in April 2008 for using nearly 30 chat rooms to share child pornography. An FBI search revealed more than 300 images on his computer.

Macanga taught in the district for 10 years and had been named Educator of the Year. He also coached a soccer team for girls 11 to 13.

Macanga pleaded guilty in November to possession of child pornography. After his release from prison, he will serve five years of supervised release, authorities said.   

- Matt Spolar